When did you last watch a Japanese Movie on Netflix? Japanese movies are made by Japanese production companies for general release to the public. These are generally categorized as Anime, which are animated or live-action movies. However, there is a wide variety of movie genres from Japan, including mystery, thriller, suspense, horror, sci-fi, and cyberpunk.
If you have been searching for the best Japanese Movies, then Netflix has it all. This streaming service has gone ahead and created a great assortment of Japanese movies, allowing you to watch them in the comfort of your own home. For this reason, we have compiled a list of the top fifteen best Japanese movies on Netflix for you to choose from, each with its own unique theme and storyline. Without further ado, here is our list of the 15 best Japanese movies on Netflix.
1. Rurouni Kenshin: Part 1 (2012)
Director: Keishi Otomo
Writer(s): Nabuhiro Watsuki (manga), Kiyomi Fujii, Keishi Ohtomo
Cast: Takeru Satoh, Emi Takei, Munetaka Aoki
Runtime: 2h 14 min
IMDb Rating: 7.5/10
Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Swordsman Romantic Story is a Japanese Movie on Netflix based on a manga of the same name. The story follows a former assassin named Himura Kenshin attempting to escape from his violent past. He then meets a young woman who convinces him that his life can amount to more than just fighting and killing. The film is highlighted by spectacular cinematography, earning it a spot amongst the best Japanese movies on Netflix.
Check out these best movies on Netflix Canada
2. My Tomorrow Your Yesterday (2016)
Director: Takahiro Miki
Writer(s): Takafumi Nanatsuki, Tomoko Yoshida
Cast: Nana Komatsu, Sota Fukushi, Masahiro Higashide
Runtime: 1h 51 min
IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday is one of the best Japanese movies you need to watch. This movie features a man who falls in love with a woman on his way to the University of Kyoto. They started dating, but the man did not know that the woman had a supernatural secret. What happens next? You need to watch this fantastic movie. Overall, this is a good film for those looking for the best Japanese movies on Netflix to watch.
3. River’s Edge (1986)
Director: Tim Hunter
Writer(s): Neal Jimenez (story), Neal Jimenez, Tim Hunter (screenplay)
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Ione Skye, Daniel Roebuck
Runtime: 1h 39 min
IMDb Rating: 7.0/10
River’s Edge is a movie that follows a group of teenagers who run into a dead body. They then decide to hide the body and keep it a secret from everyone else. The group eventually turns on each other, leading to chaos and murder within their small community. This film is one of the few thrillers available on Netflix with a highly suspenseful plot, making it difficult for most people to take their eyes off the screen. If you are interested in the same kind of movies besides series then you should check these best thriller movies on Netflix.
4. Fullmetal Alchemist (2003 – 2004)
Director: Seiji Mizushima
Writer(s): Sho Aikawa (manga),
Cast: Vic Mignogna, Aaron Dismuke, Romi Park
Runtime: 24 min/Episode
IMDb Rating: 8.5/10
Fullmetal Alchemist is an anime film based on a manga of the same name. The movie tells the story of two brothers as they attempt to locate a powerful item known as the philosopher’s stone, hoping to restore their bodies after an accident leaves them severely damaged. This is one of those classic best Japanese movies on Netflix that you need to see before dying.
5. 37 Seconds (2019)
Cast: Makiko Watanabe, Shunsuke Daito, Kiyohiko Shibukawa
Runtime: 1h 55 min
IMDb Rating: 7.3/10
37 Seconds is a Japanese movie that tells the story of a woman suffering from cerebral palsy. The woman is torn between becoming a manga and dealing with her family’s obligations. She leads a complicated life, and nothing seems to work on her side. However, she struggled at least to lead a determined life. This is one of the best Japanese movies on Netflix that you shouldn’t miss watching.
6. Shin Godzilla (2016)
Director: Hideaki Anno, Shinji Higuchi
Writer(s): Hideaki Anno (story), Isao Kiriyama (screenplay)
Cast: Hiroki Hasegawa, Satomi Ishihara, Yutaka Takenouchi
IMDb Rating: 6.8/10
Shin Godzilla is a Japanese movie based on the legendary Toho monster, Godzilla. The film tells the story of when a mysterious accident occurs in Tokyo Bay, releasing an unknown creature into the city and causing mass panic throughout Japan. This highly anticipated series reboot garnered positive reviews from critics and fans alike. Besides this, you can also watch the best horror movies on Netflix Canada.
7. A Family (2021)
Director: Dan Slater
Writer(s): Adam Booth, Dan Slater
Cast: Nigel Bennet, Toni Ellwand, Keana Lyn
Runtime: 1h 50 min
IMDb Rating: 7.0/10
A Family is a new Japanese movie that tells the story of a family who has to work vigorously in hard labor to honor their parents’ wishes. They will need to work hard to avoid curses after dishonoring their wishes. However, it comes a time when they have to flee away from this cult and seek fresh beginnings. Do they manage? Watch this recent Japanese movie only on Netflix.
8. Homunculus (2021)
Director: Takeshi Shimizu
Writer(s): Naruki Matsuhisa, Eisuke Nahito, Takashi Shimizu
Cast: Go Ayano, Edward Bosco, Amber Lee Connors
Runtime: 1h 55 min
IMDb Rating: 5.6/10
Homunculus is a Japanese Movie on Netflix by acclaimed director Takeshi Shimizu. The film tells the story of Susumu Nokoshi, who works in a financial company, but is now a homeless man. In his rounds along a park, he meets a medical student seeking volunteers for a surgical operation involving drilling a hole in the skull. He agrees, but things go south after the operation since he now sees everyone’s innermost traumas. This is one of the best Japanese movies on Netflix you need to watch.
9. A Whisker Away (2020)
Director: Jun’ichi Sato
Writer(s): Mari Okada
Cast: Mirai Shida, Natsuki Hanae, Johnny Yong Bosch
Runtime: 1h 44 min
IMDb Rating: 6.7/10
A Whisker Away is a Japanese movie based on a manga of the same name. The film tells the story of Miyo Sasaki, who falls in love with her classmate Kento. However, he tries to get the purported lover’s attention by turning him into a cat. However, this leads to a gap in their relationship when she can’t keep her relationship with the cat. What happens next? You need to watch the movie only on Netflix.
10. We Couldn’t Become Adults (2021)
Director: Yoshihiro Mori
Writer(s): Moegara (Novel), Ryo Takada
Cast: Rich Ting, Takehiro Hira, Masahiro Higashide
Runtime: 2h 4 min
IMDb Rating: 6.5/10
We Couldn’t Become Adults is one of the newest Japanese movies on Netflix that tells the story of the modern world, filled with social media and other connections. Here, a man in his forties gets intrigued by a friend request that makes him recall his past relationships and such. He looks at his vanished dreams, and there is nothing he can do about them. This is one of the best Japanese movies released in 2021 you need to watch.
11. The Forest of Love (2019)
Director: Sion Sono
Writer(s): Sion Sono
Cast: Kippei Shina, Shinnosuke Mitsushima, Kyoko Hinami
Runtime: 2h 31 min
IMDb Rating: 6.3/10
The Forest of Love is a Japanese movie based on the content of Sion Sono. The film tells the story of a group of students featuring a shy girl. They are manipulated, sexually molested, and abused by an older man, planning for revenge. They try to follow his steps, and things don’t seem more leisurely, and murder is involved. This is one of the best movies that you need to watch.
12. Mother (2020)
Director: Tatsushi Omori
Writer(s): Takehiko Minato, Tsatsushi Omori
Cast: Masami Nagasawa, Sadao Abe, Halo Asada
Runtime: 2h 6 min
IMDb Rating: 6.8/10
Mother is a coming-of-age film from acclaimed director Tsatsushi Omori. The movie tells the story of a single mother who lives with her son, Shuhei. The single mother is a commercial sex worker and has sex with other men, including her close. Shuhei becomes bothered by this kind of relationship and makes a shocking decision. What’s the decision? It is essential to watch the movie for the whole story. It is one of the fantastic Japanese movies on Netflix.
13. Bleach (2018)
Director: Shinsuke Satô
Writer(s): Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, Novel: Tite Kubo
Cast: Sôta Fukushi, Hana Sugisaki, Yûki Furukawa
Runtime: 1h 48 min
IMDb Rating: 6.4/10
Based on the manga of the same name, Bleach is a Japanese movie about a young man who discovers that his sister has been killed. As this discovery sends him on a downward spiral, he eventually decides to join the “Soul Reapers” organization and become an exorcist to investigate her death. This film was directed by Shinsuke Satô, who is known for his work on other well-received anime movies, such as the live-action adaptation of Gantz.
The above list represents some of the best Japanese movies on Netflix. As you can see from the list, there is a wide variety of films available, with something for every type of movie-goer to enjoy. So, be sure to check out one or two movies before the month ends, depending on your schedule. The good thing about these movies is that you can stream them at home, instead of having to pay for a movie ticket. The above list represents some of the best options currently available. So, find the best movie, grab some popcorn, and have a great movie night.